The AAPS journal

In vitro and in vivo evaluation of a water-in-oil microemulsion system for enhanced peptide intestinal delivery.

PMID 23196806


Peptide and protein drugs have become the new generation of therapeutics, yet most of them are only available as injections, and reports on oral local intestinal delivery of peptides and proteins are quite limited. The aim of this work was to develop and evaluate a water-in-oil (w/o) microemulsion system in vitro and in vivo for local intestinal delivery of water-soluble peptides after oral administration. A fluorescent labeled peptide, 5-(and-6)-carboxytetramethylrhodamine labeled HIV transactivator protein TAT (TAMRA-TAT), was used as a model peptide. Water-in-oil microemulsions consisting of Miglyol 812, Capmul MCM, Tween 80, and water were developed and characterized in terms of appearance, viscosity, conductivity, morphology, and particle size analysis. TAMRA-TAT was loaded and its enzymatic stability was assessed in modified simulated intestinal fluid (MSIF) in vitro. In in vivo studies, TAMRA-TAT intestinal distribution was evaluated using fluorescence microscopy after TAMRA-TAT microemulsion, TAMRA-TAT solution, and placebo microemulsion were orally gavaged to mice. The half-life of TAMRA-TAT in microemulsion was enhanced nearly three-fold compared to that in the water solution when challenged by MSIF. The treatment with TAMRA-TAT microemulsion after oral administration resulted in greater fluorescence intensity in all intestine sections (duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and colon) compared to TAMRA-TAT solution or placebo microemulsion. The in vitro and in vivo studies together suggested TAMRA-TAT was better protected in the w/o microemulsion in an enzyme-containing environment, suggesting that the w/o microemulsions developed in this study may serve as a potential delivery vehicle for local intestinal delivery of peptides or proteins after oral administration.

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